Juan Manuel Marquez's win over Manny Pacquiao was nothing short of epic, but after such a victory, Marquez has nothing left to prove and should retire as a result.
Many thought Marquez would put up a fight against Pacquiao and that he could potentially win the pair's fourth showdown, but nobody thought Marquez would knock Pac-Man out the way he did.
There's no doubt that Marquez's 40th career knockout was one of the biggest and most impressive he has ever achieved throughout his career.
At age 39, there isn't much left for Marquez to prove. He's held multiple titles in different weight classes and beaten some of the best fighters this sport has seen over the past two decades.
So, exactly what can he accomplish moving forward?
Marquez could be hoping for lightning to strike twice and face off with Pac-Man again, but a loss would greatly diminish what he did in their most recent contest.
If he were to lose to Pacquiao, Marquez's knockout earlier in December would look like nothing more than a lucky punch, if it isn't already looked at like that in the first place.
Sure, Marquez did lose or draw in the previous three bouts with Pacquiao, but none of those results will stick in the collective minds of boxing fans like the fourth fight will.
That's the kind of memory Marquez should be keen on keeping in the hearts and minds of his supporters, as well as the many Pacquiao haters out there. He got the best of Pac-Man on that night and that's what anyone will remember for the rest of time.
On top of that, many have tried to stain what Marquez did to Pacquiao by making accusations that the 39-year-old was using performance-enhancing drugs before the fight.
According to MMAJunkie.com staff (per USA Today), even UFC fighter Chael Sonnen has accused Marquez of using:
"The guy's got a six-pack that he never had before," Sonnen said on Showtime's Jim Rome: Live. "There are two tests that you have. You've got the pee test, but you've also got the visual test.
"When you take your robe off and you get in the ring, that's the first test. And to act as though all of us didn't go, 'Something's going on, there.'"
Of course, there is no positive test to prove that Marquez is using, so it is only speculation on the part of his accusers. But sometimes speculation is more than enough to make someone guilty in the court of public opinion.
There is nothing left to be gained for Marquez at this late stage in his career. His win over Pacquiao was memorable. Marquez would be best served leaving that victory as the lasting memory of his great career.
Even if the accusations persist about potential PED use after he retires, there will never be proof. Therefore, nobody can take anything away from what Marquez has done—especially to Pacquiao.